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Tesla App Utility plan configuration: Multiple Peaks, Buy/Sell Behavior, etc

I think I found the problem. In “EV charging” setting, I used to set 10% share with vehicle and 90% save for home use. After I switched to 20% save for home use, powerwall now acting normal on peak time.
Looks like the EV charging setting effects the time-based control behavior too.
 

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I have two of these living in Northern California where we do have a history of fire caused outages.

So normally I always keep my power walls charged to 50% and they are quickly charged about 3 hours of solar from my 48 panels during the day.

The rest of the day overage solar goes back to the grid.

This has let use my power walls to run my A/C's after the sun goes down with the PG&E peak at least until 9 pm. Something if no A/C is used at night the PW's will run for hours even until morning.

Mostly however, I reach my 50% threshold around midnight where I use the grid until morning sun.

Recently I set the PW's to 30% and even with some A/C they run the house all night.

It takes longer to charge them during the day to 100%.

My question is:

Is it best to use the 50% and give more back to the grid, or use them to run the house at 30%.

PG&E night use is not very expensive so it better to have the credits or use the PW's through the whole night.

It is better to accumulate more PG&E credits or use Solar to charge a more depleted PW.

Comments?

Thanks
 

arnolddeleon

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Jul 21, 2012
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I have two of these living in Northern California where we do have a history of fire caused outages.

So normally I always keep my power walls charged to 50% and they are quickly charged about 3 hours of solar from my 48 panels during the day.

The rest of the day overage solar goes back to the grid.

This has let use my power walls to run my A/C's after the sun goes down with the PG&E peak at least until 9 pm. Something if no A/C is used at night the PW's will run for hours even until morning.

Mostly however, I reach my 50% threshold around midnight where I use the grid until morning sun.

Recently I set the PW's to 30% and even with some A/C they run the house all night.

It takes longer to charge them during the day to 100%.

My question is:

Is it best to use the 50% and give more back to the grid, or use them to run the house at 30%.

PG&E night use is not very expensive so it better to have the credits or use the PW's through the whole night.

It is better to accumulate more PG&E credits or use Solar to charge a more depleted PW.

Comments?

Thanks
What is your definition of better? Save more money? Better for the planet? Self satisfaction? Peace of mind?

Are you on NEM 1.0 or NEM 2.0? If you are on NEM 2.0 there are non-bypassable charges, NBCs, that don't get offset by your credits.

Are you a net producer?

What mode are running on right now?

Do you have the grid charge option? Did you take the Investment Tax Credit?

How worried are you about outages?

For an example. I have 3 Powerwalls with about 16 kW of solar, I run in self powered mode. I'm also enrolled in the virtual power plant. My reserved is set to 8% during the summer. I'm not terribly worried about outages. If I run out power one night I'm confident that I can recover. On a normal day my batteries only get down to about 40%. If there is super hot day then I might get all the way to my reserve. My goals are to consume as much as of my production as possible (long story in other threads). I pretty much never buy peak power. Outages are rare for me are short when they occur.

I expect @miimura will have a good answer for you.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
7,400
7,404
Los Altos, CA
Regardless of whether you are on NEM 1 or 2, the first priority should be using your solar and PowerWall energy for everything but Off-Peak. What happens during Off-Peak is usually of less consequence. The considerations are whether you have NEM 2 Non-Bypassable Charges and how paranoid you are about using more battery cycles than are absolutely necessary. I personally don’t think letting PowerWalls discharge during overnight EV charging is a good idea. If you are home during Off-Peak sunlight hours, charging straight from solar is much better.
 
Hello Tesla Powerwall users,
The more I read these threads about how to trick the system into desired configuration, the more confusing it gets. Wow!
We in northern CA, have 12kw solar, two Powerwalls and are on PGE EV2-A rates. In an ideal world we would like to set Powerwalls 55/45 reserve (as we typically use @40kw overnight) and to grid charge at midnight, as soon as off-peak rates begin so that they are at 100% by morning and for as much of the time as possible in our foggy and power-outage frequent location. Given that we cannot do that because of Tesla configuration restrictions for solar/powerwall customers, our installer suggested setting reserve to 80/20 so that least the Powerwalls have a nice high reserve of 80% at all times for those power-outages. During peak-hours the battery draws down to the reserve and then draws from the grid at peak rates for the other 20% - less than ideal, but we reckoned it’s ok as solar will flow to the grid also during afternoon Peak hours on sunny days balancing things out. However, problem is the Powerwall still will not charge up from solar in the mornings (or whenever we have excess flow beyond home usage), until afternoons. Trying all kinds of tricks as suggested in this thread, but so far have not come up with the one that works to force the batteries to fill just as soon as we have good solar production - the batteries do fill up to 100% daily, just before peak-rates, but not at all related to solar production. It’s nice and sunny much of the time now, but certainly won’t be later in the year so we are trying to get this sorted.
Anybody else in same situation with an answer that works for them. We are tired of dragging our installer back on site and have clocked maybe 30 hours with Tesla Techs so far…..
Thank you!
 
@JJ-Moonstone - did you take the federal tax credit? If not, you should have access to grid charging. It's been available since earlier this year.

If your main purpose for getting the Powerwalls is backup, then it seems like having a high reserve is the best way to go. One other factor on how you use the Powerwalls is how much of your power your solar system is going to offset. If you don't expect to be paying PG&E for electricity at your true-up, then there is much less value to trying to avoid peak charges.
 
Hello Tesla Powerwall users,
The more I read these threads about how to trick the system into desired configuration, the more confusing it gets. Wow!
We in northern CA, have 12kw solar, two Powerwalls and are on PGE EV2-A rates. In an ideal world we would like to set Powerwalls 55/45 reserve (as we typically use @40kw overnight) and to grid charge at midnight, as soon as off-peak rates begin so that they are at 100% by morning and for as much of the time as possible in our foggy and power-outage frequent location. Given that we cannot do that because of Tesla configuration restrictions for solar/powerwall customers, our installer suggested setting reserve to 80/20 so that least the Powerwalls have a nice high reserve of 80% at all times for those power-outages. During peak-hours the battery draws down to the reserve and then draws from the grid at peak rates for the other 20% - less than ideal, but we reckoned it’s ok as solar will flow to the grid also during afternoon Peak hours on sunny days balancing things out. However, problem is the Powerwall still will not charge up from solar in the mornings (or whenever we have excess flow beyond home usage), until afternoons. Trying all kinds of tricks as suggested in this thread, but so far have not come up with the one that works to force the batteries to fill just as soon as we have good solar production - the batteries do fill up to 100% daily, just before peak-rates, but not at all related to solar production. It’s nice and sunny much of the time now, but certainly won’t be later in the year so we are trying to get this sorted.
Anybody else in same situation with an answer that works for them. We are tired of dragging our installer back on site and have clocked maybe 30 hours with Tesla Techs so far…..
Thank you!
What utility pricing have you entered? And what does the typical daily solar generation and home look like in the app? Please use the color coded version, click the 3 line icon next to day in the top right if it is a single color.
 
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@JJ-Moonstone - did you take the federal tax credit? If not, you should have access to grid charging. It's been available since earlier this year.

If your main purpose for getting the Powerwalls is backup, then it seems like having a high reserve is the best way to go. One other factor on how you use the Powerwalls is how much of your power your solar system is going to offset. If you don't expect to be paying PG&E for electricity at your true-up, then there is much less value to trying to avoid peak charges.
Hi. We did not take the federal tax credit. We do have access to grid charging.
@JJ-Moonstone - did you take the federal tax credit? If not, you should have access to grid charging. It's been available since earlier this year.

If your main purpose for getting the Powerwalls is backup, then it seems like having a high reserve is the best way to go. One other factor on how you use the Powerwalls is how much of your power your solar system is going to offset. If you don't expect to be paying PG&E for electricity at your true-up, then there is much less value to trying to avoid peak charges.
Thank you. We did not get the federal tax credit and have access to grid charging, but not permitted to charge the Powerwalls from the grid during off peak hours (starting midnight at our location). Hoping that in the future Tesla will add the ability to enter grid charge times, since they have added the ability to grid charge. Thanks for your comments.
 
What utility pricing have you entered? And what does the typical daily solar generation and home look like in the app? Please use the color coded version, click the 3 line icon next to day in the top right if it is a single color.
Hello Redhill_qik. We tried many configurations of utility pricing. Starting with the standard pricing as quoted by PG&E. Then Tesla advised that we lower sell price by 15%. We tried that. And 20%. Also lowering sell price to .03c/kWh and to .01c/kWh and many other variations including adding super off peak rates, but never fully understanding.
Tonight I tried reimagining the PW’s as a robot who wants to please its people ……. and how might I incentivize the robot to start recharging at midnight, so I added a super off peak period starting at 12:01am with buy and sell rates of .01c/kWh and by golly it’s charging - I think I may have trained the robot… 🤖
So we may have solved our problem (so long as this setting does not have other unknown ramifications). But I would like to know, for other circumstances, do you know how to encourage PW, to prioritize filling PW’s with solar (beyond the use of the home), so that they start to charge PW mid morning on a sunny day?
I suspect that a CT may need replacing as the Tesla Ap reports much lower solar than we actually are, and that may be part of our problem.
Screenshots of our solar generation and home on the app attached, but as I say I think app data may be off. I have also attached screenshot of actual solar production as reported by SunPower. And of our PW’s being charged by the grid tonight.
Thank you so much for your time. JJ
 

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Hello Redhill_qik. We tried many configurations of utility pricing. Starting with the standard pricing as quoted by PG&E. Then Tesla advised that we lower sell price by 15%. We tried that. And 20%. Also lowering sell price to .03c/kWh and to .01c/kWh and many other variations including adding super off peak rates, but never fully understanding.
Tonight I tried reimagining the PW’s as a robot who wants to please its people ……. and how might I incentivize the robot to start recharging at midnight, so I added a super off peak period starting at 12:01am with buy and sell rates of .01c/kWh and by golly it’s charging - I think I may have trained the robot… 🤖
So we may have solved our problem (so long as this setting does not have other unknown ramifications). But I would like to know, for other circumstances, do you know how to encourage PW, to prioritize filling PW’s with solar (beyond the use of the home), so that they start to charge PW mid morning on a sunny day?
I suspect that a CT may need replacing as the Tesla Ap reports much lower solar than we actually are, and that may be part of our problem.
Screenshots of our solar generation and home on the app attached, but as I say I think app data may be off. I have also attached screenshot of actual solar production as reported by SunPower. And of our PW’s being charged by the grid tonight.
Thank you so much for your time. JJ
Thanks for the information and screenshots.

> We in northern CA, have 12kw solar, two Powerwalls and are on PGE EV2-A rates.
> I suspect that a CT may need replacing as the Tesla Ap reports much lower solar than we actually are, and that may be part of our problem.

Yes, this is the first thing that I would tackle with your installer because what the Tesla system/app is seeing versus what 12kw of solar should be capable of and what the 3rd party app that you are using is reporting for the same day are extremely different. Once you get the Tesla system/app reporting the correct solar production and house load values I think that the Powerwall charge/discharge behavior will improve and you can start looking at tweaking the pricing to get the behavior you are looking for.

> Tonight I tried reimagining the PW’s as a robot who wants to please its people
Mostly correct, but the robot mostly wants to please Musk and not us. :) If it wanted to please its people than it would accept simple priority lists for different times of the day.
 
Thanks for the information and screenshots.

> We in northern CA, have 12kw solar, two Powerwalls and are on PGE EV2-A rates.
> I suspect that a CT may need replacing as the Tesla Ap reports much lower solar than we actually are, and that may be part of our problem.

Yes, this is the first thing that I would tackle with your installer because what the Tesla system/app is seeing versus what 12kw of solar should be capable of and what the 3rd party app that you are using is reporting for the same day are extremely different. Once you get the Tesla system/app reporting the correct solar production and house load values I think that the Powerwall charge/discharge behavior will improve and you can start looking at tweaking the pricing to get the behavior you are looking for.

> Tonight I tried reimagining the PW’s as a robot who wants to please its people
Mostly correct, but the robot mostly wants to please Musk and not us. :) If it wanted to please its people than it would accept simple priority lists for different times of the day.
Thankyou for your feedback and clarification about solar production reporting discrepancies. I will keep after the solar installer to replace the CT. Unfortunately my tweak last night not so successful, although the Powerwall filled to 100% it discharged at 4am (the end of my super off peak period experiment). Here are some screenshots. I will keep experimenting…. 🧐 thank you again.
 

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Thankyou for your feedback and clarification about solar production reporting discrepancies. I will keep after the solar installer to replace the CT. Unfortunately my tweak last night not so successful, although the Powerwall filled to 100% it discharged at 4am (the end of my super off peak period experiment). Here are some screenshots. I will keep experimenting…. 🧐 thank you again.
When the Powerwall discharged at 4:00am at the start of the Off-Peak setting, where did the energy go? To the grid? To the house? To an EV?

You have Grid Charging enabled for the Powerwalls, but do you also have Energy Exports set to Everything?

Also, is tje Operation Mode set to Self-Powered or Time-Based Control?
 
When the Powerwall discharged at 4:00am at the start of the Off-Peak setting, where did the energy go? To the grid? To the house? To an EV?

You have Grid Charging enabled for the Powerwalls, but do you also have Energy Exports set to Everything?

Also, is tje Operation Mode set to Self-Powered or Time-Based Control?
Gosh. Good questions! We are in time-based-control but I don’t see energy exports setting, sorry ( I have seen it in the past).
At 4am I think power went to the house. Here are screenshots as I don’t know.
It’s all fascinating, Thank you again!!
 

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Gosh. Good questions! We are in time-based-control but I don’t see energy exports setting, sorry ( I have seen it in the past).
At 4am I think power went to the house. Here are screenshots as I don’t know.
It’s all fascinating, Thank you again!!
It appears that the energy went to house. Do you have an EV that was charging from 12:00am and on? If the house load is correct you had a pretty constant 2.4-2.6kW load until sometime after 6:00am and that might be an EV charger. If not, then what in your house has this kind of constant draw at night?

The Export Controls should be in Settings -> Powerwall Powerwall Modes | Tesla Support This isn't available in my app, so I've never seen it live. I do have the Grid Charging option, but that doesn't make any sense for my usage so I don't use it.

The third party app (BTW, what is that?) was showing large amounts (up to 6kW) of both solar and grid exports on 8/28, so it seems like you have PTO. The Tesla app for the same day was showing a lot less at just 1.9 kW from solar that was going to the grid or to the Powerwall with zero house load. The Tesla app grid screenshot for 6/28 was showing less than a 1kW from 12:00am-6:30am and then 0kW until 6:30pm.

The 3rd party app appears to have valid data, but the Tesla app is all messed up. Take a look at your smartmeter and see what it is reporting for kW versus the Tesla app and your 3rd party app. You can use this to convince the Tesla Support to get someone out to fix all of the CT monitoring.
 
Hi Redhill, Thank you!
It appears that the energy went to house. Do you have an EV that was charging from 12:00am and on? We have a Model Y, see fun pic of my fella! :) but it was not plugged in. If the house load is correct you had a pretty constant 2.4-2.6kW load until sometime after 6:00am and that might be an EV charger. If not, then what in your house has this kind of constant draw at night? Two 1HP water pumps that run 24/7 for pond waterfalls.

The Export Controls should be in Settings -> Powerwall Powerwall Modes | Tesla Support This isn't available in my app, so I've never seen it live. I do have the Grid Charging option, but that doesn't make any sense for my usage so I don't use it.

The third party app (BTW, what is that? - SunPower system with Enphase microinverters) was showing large amounts (up to 6kW) of both solar and grid exports on 8/28, so it seems like you have PTO. Yes The Tesla app for the same day was showing a lot less at just 1.9 kW from solar that was going to the grid or to the Powerwall with zero house load. The Tesla app grid screenshot for 6/28 was showing less than a 1kW from 12:00am-6:30am and then 0kW until 6:30pm. Yes, that’s what we think too. Thanks for looking closely Redhill.

The 3rd party app appears to have valid data, but the Tesla app is all messed up. Take a look at your smartmeter and see what it is reporting for kW versus the Tesla app and your 3rd party app. You can use this to convince the Tesla Support to get someone out to fix all of the CT monitoring. Great idea!! We will. Thank you - so appreciate your speedy and informed help!
 

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Feels like I've read every thread about powerwall 2 grid (off peak) charging this weekend. We finally got a smart meter and Octopus night tariff.

PW2 decides 25% off peak the first night. Meaning we end up buying 11KW the next day at peak rate
Last night PW2 decides to charge 50% which means today (even cloudier) we will buy another 9-11KW at peak rate.

Pretty disappointed that PW2 seems to (for me anyway) just use the previous day as a prediction for the next. Here (in Scotland) the weather is turning cloudy and production will be very low for this week at least. Or do I need to give it more time to learn? We have had the PW2 for over a year on self powered mode.

Ideally and over the Winter I suspect it's more beneficial for our PW2 to charge to 100% throughout the night. As the possibility of any spare solar redirected to the grid is less of a waste than buying energy peak time (7p vs 40p) due to a partially charged PW2 during the night. We also have 2 electric vehicles that could soak up excess on the sunny winter days.

So it seems the only solution is to manually (and I don't want to get up at that time ever night) or try to use a 3rd party automation to pump the reserve to 100% during my off peak and then reduce it down to 0% at the end of the off peak period? Anyone else doing this and recommend the best automation kit?

Has anyone found success in pumping the off peak rate and the peak rates to an extreme like $0.1 and $99? Or any tweak with export rates?

Why the PW2 doesn't have charge levels like the cars is really frustrating. I get that it's a backup for grid outage first and a tariff balance tool second but it's so disappointing how little control the user gets over something as simple as charge level. Power outages are so rare (I'll perhaps edit that after this Winter!). Even a weather report tie in would feasibly produce better results.
 
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NikoV6

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I think it needs an "If" function!

Here in North Wales our PW2 will happily recharge to full on 10Kw of solar while supporting any deficit for the house draw during the day. So when solar stops we have the "free" energy to power the house. We are on Self Powered. I would like the option of selecting "If PW SoC is less than 30% (example) at the start of my Octopus Go cheap rate automatically charge the PW to 80%". This would see enough charge in the PW to get to solar generation the next day. This could be adjusted through the year to reflect dawn and dusk times (which could also be automatically set with a tickbox!)
 
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To Mimic The Old "Balanced" Mode

This worked for me after doing what Redhill_qik suggested.

  • Set your Sell price to one cent less than the Buy price for both Peak and Off-Peak. The actual amount doesn't matter
  • Set your Peak price higher than your Sell price. Again the amount doesn't matter as long as it is higher and thee Sell is still one cent less than the Buy (I set my Peak to be one cent more than the Off-Peak.)
I had to change the prices a bit. I noticed that in the evening during peak when solar was too low it started taking from the grid instead of the battery (grid+solar instead of battery+solar for house.).

It wouldn’t take from the battery until solar was completely done. So I raised the peak price by 5 cents more than the off peak price and now it’s back to acting like the old balanced mode again.

I think if the difference between the off peak and peak is too small it acts more like backup mode. It it’s too great it acts more like the old cost savings mode. But if it’s somewhere in between it acts like the old balanced mode.
 
Have any of you experienced the Tesla App reporting solar production, albeit just .5kW, at night when it is dark outside? CT finally replaced and this is part of our new Tesla Powerwall scenario for the past two nights…
 

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